Believe that the night is as useful as the day

From Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning devotional book, for June 1.

“It is one of the arrangements of Divine providence that day and night shall not cease either in the spiritual or natural creation till we reach the land of which it is written, ‘there is no night there.’ What our heavenly Father ordains is wise and good.

What, then, my soul, is it best for thee to do? Learn first to be content with this divine order, and be willing, with Job, to receive evil from the hand of the Lord as well as good. Study next, to make the outgoings of the morning and the evening to rejoice. Praise the Lord for the sun of joy when it rises, and for the gloom of evening as it falls. There is beauty both in sunrise and sunset, sing of it, and glorify the Lord. Like the nightingale, pour forth thy notes at all hours. Believe that the night is as useful as the day.”

You can read the whole (short) devotional here. The current print of the book is in more modern English.

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Throwback Thursday: What Will be Said of You?

Several months back I was riding on a train and thinking about this seemingly unending misery called infertility. One trail of thought led to another, and I thought of Job, who also went through a time of trial. I busted out my Bible and started skimming his story. I recalled how God had allowed Job to be tried by Satan because Satan accused Job of only faithfully serving God because he was so blessed. God disagreed, and allowed Satan to do anything and take anything from Job except his life. Job didn’t know this, but Satan took the offer. And do you know what is said about how Job handled the trial? “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” 

Wow.

I stopped there and started thinking about myself. I had been walking a blessed road, in my assessment, and was struggling with why God would bring us, His faithful servants, into such an awful path of trial. I asked myself, What if this is the same situation as Job? What if God is betting with Satan that your faith is not based on your blessing? How are you doing? And if the story stopped tomorrow, what would be the conclusive line about how you handled it all?

If I were honest, I would’ve said that I would’ve been ashamed at what would be said of me. I was struggling with the Lord and having trouble witnessing to others, praying at all, keeping hope, and trusting my beliefs, because I had crossed the 12-month line of trying to conceive and was realizing God was allowing us to enter this trial. I was bitter with Him, borderline (over the line?) sinful in my heart. I knew my fate was in His hands, and I was bothered at how He was handling it.

So Satan was winning, you guys. If I was being bet on (by the way, what a compliment to Job that God had such confidence in his faith, right?), I was losing. So I devoted myself to change my story. If it ends tomorrow, I don’t want my testimony to be, “In all this she crawled into a ball in her bed and cried for days until it was over.” Or “In all this she stopped praying and wouldn’t open her Bible, because she was giving God the silent treatment.” Or “In all this she whined and complained daily and made everyone else miserable.” Or whatever you would say is your current response.

I guess this is just my challenge to you, from my own thoughts and mistakes, to search your heart and consider what would be written of you if you got your own book of the Bible like Job did. I hope your answer is better than mine was, and if not, I hope you have the wisdom to change it!

job
Click the image to read the book of Job.

Reposted from September 19, 2013.

What Job said in the valley

From Job 23

Do you have this confidence in the Lord these days?

 “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there,

and backward, but I do not perceive him;

on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him;

he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.

But he knows the way that I take;

when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.”

I love those verses! What confidence we have — we may not see Him or get what He’s doing, but we can be sure that He sees us, and will use this for our good.

And is your testimony like this, in your darkest moments?

“My foot has held fast to his steps;

I have kept his way and have not turned aside.

I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;

I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.”

Earlier is this chapter, Job was imagining how it would be to go face-to-face with God and plead his case. Haven’t we all been there? But by the end of these verses, he is brought back to the reality of who God is and who Job is. Have you lost sight of your place and God’s place?

“But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back?

What he desires, that he does.

For he will complete what he appoints for me,

and many such things are in his mind.”

That’s a lot to think about, from just a handful of verses! I’ll leave you those to contemplate today. Please comment with any thoughts. 

job23

Though You Slay Me

Several blog posts I’ve stumbled upon regarding suffering and trial have referenced this song. I thought this would be a good time to share it, since we talked about Job yesterday. It’s based on another amazing thing Job said in his trial, “Though He slay me, I will trust in Him.” Wow again, right? This post could also be titled “Another reason Job got a book about him and I won’t.”

The Desiring God blog shared about this song in their post entitled Song for the Suffering.

It’s “Though You Slay Me” by Shane & Shane. Here is my favorite version:

What will be said of you?

Several months back I was riding on a train and thinking about this seemingly unending misery called infertility. One trail of thought led to another, and I thought of Job, who also went through a time of trial. I busted out my Bible and started skimming his story. I recalled how God had allowed Job to be tried by Satan because Satan accused Job of only faithfully serving God because he was so blessed. God disagreed, and allowed Satan to do anything and take anything from Job except his life. Job didn’t know this, but Satan took the offer. And do you know what is said about how Job handled the trial? “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” 

Wow.

I stopped there and started thinking about myself. I had been walking a blessed road, in my assessment, and was struggling with why God would bring us, His faithful servants, into such an awful path of trial. I asked myself, What if this is the same situation as Job? What if God is betting with Satan that your faith is not based on your blessing? How are you doing? And if the story stopped tomorrow, what would be the conclusive line about how you handled it all?

If I were honest, I would’ve said that I would’ve been ashamed at what would be said of me. I was struggling with the Lord and having trouble witnessing to others, praying at all, keeping hope, and trusting my beliefs, because I had crossed the 12-month line of trying to conceive and was realizing God was allowing us to enter this trial. I was bitter with Him, borderline (over the line?) sinful in my heart. I knew my fate was in His hands, and I was bothered at how He was handling it.

So Satan was winning, you guys. If I was being bet on (by the way, what a compliment to Job that God had such confidence in his faith, right?), I was losing. So I devoted myself to change my story. If it ends tomorrow, I don’t want my testimony to be, “In all this she crawled into a ball in her bed and cried for days until it was over.” Or “In all this she stopped praying and wouldn’t open her Bible, because she was giving God the silent treatment.” Or “In all this she whined and complained daily and made everyone else miserable.” Or whatever you would say is your current response.

I guess this is just my challenge to you, from my own thoughts and mistakes, to search your heart and consider what would be written of you if you got your own book of the Bible like Job did. I hope your answer is better than mine was, and if not, I hope you have the wisdom to change it!

job
Click the image to read the book of Job.

Though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm

This song always reminds me of this powerful quote by Os Guinness: “We may be in the dark about what God is doing, but we are not in the dark about God.” I think of it when he sings, “You are who You are, no matter where I am,” and I treasure the truth that we can trust in what we know for sure about God, even when we don’t understand what He’s doing: He is sovereign, wise, and good. So we praise Him in this storm and trust Him with each step!

I also love the singing of this powerful verse:

“I lift my eyes unto the hills, where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord: the Maker of heaven and earth.”

-Psalm 121:1 

Here’s the song with the lyrics:

For more reading… this song references a man named Job’s reaction when the Lord allows him to go through horrible trial and lose all he has. He proclaims, “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” To read this inspiring true story, begin here: http://www.esvbible.org/Job+1/